There are over 4,000 Lego minifigure characters ranging from plumbers and judges to licensed ones such as Harry Potter and SpongeBob SquarePants. Christoph Bartneck from the University of Canterbury created a taxonomy to logically categorize all of the characters.
If only the categories in the interactive expanded to show pictures or links to the actual minifigures. That would be killer. Hey, illustrators, looking for a side project? There you go.
Where are the Lego Friends?
Some of this is really inspired and fun. It’s still a little odd to me as a single tree, though. The top categories contrast licensing status, figure construction, and “fictionality”, but those qualities actually overlap. There are opportunities still to make a hierarchy–“Fiction[al] / Licensed,” “Fiction[al] / Lego-designed”–but this looks more like a set of facets to me. E.g. If I were looking for “Bionicles” it would be easier to combine “Fictional (Space) + Lego-Designed + Non-Standard” to filter the list of figures, rather than to guess which branch of this tree to head down.